Posts Tagged ‘When Flanders Failed

11
Apr
15

A Little Weekend Reading

When Flanders Failed11

“Oh, right as rain!  Or, as we say around here, left as rain!” – Ned Flanders
“Just stamp the ticket.” – Guy

There are two things I didn’t have time to properly explain in Reading Digest yesterday. The first is our old friend Noah P, who’s adding a new twist to his “watch ’em all” blog: Character Files. Similar to that “Permanent Record” thing we tried to do here a few years ago, he’s taking a look at one character’s appearances through the show. He’s done a couple of big name characters (Troy McClure, Frank Grimes), but my favorite so far is the “Just Stamp the Ticket Guy”:

When Flanders begins to start taking about non-parking-related things, he scolds, “Just stamp the ticket”, hence his nickname given to him by the hardcore Simpsons fan community. But…is that all we saw of him?

No. His legacy would not end there.

Turns out JSTTG is a jerk all the time. When the Squeaky-Voiced Teen tries to talk to him, he scurries away, saying, “Don’t touch me”. Then, when he sees Barney Gumble dressed as a baby, passing out fliers, he says, “You disgust me”. He also tells Marge that his kids aren’t stupid enough to want one of her wishbone necklaces, and for an encore, he punches a hippie, and later, Homer. A man of a few words, most of them rude.

Anyway, if you’d like to put in a request for another character, click through.  Surely the Sarcastic Guy (“Okay, but I’m only paid to drive”) can’t be too far behind?

Second is our old friend Wesley Mead on that Nigerian princess episode in Bakwa Magazine:

It’s significant that the characters featured are an unnamed King and his daughter, a Princess. This allows for Moe’s initial concern that they are connected to a “Nigerian prince” who had scammed him on the Internet. But in aid of a silly, predictable subplot (one that’s not too timely, either— 419 scams were parodied in Fox stable mate Futurama eight years ago), The Simpsons’ crew have failed in their responsibility to reach beyond the lowest common denominator.

The same site also asked yours truly and some other writers to comment on that one. My favorite was this, from Ikhide Ikheloa:

This episode is disappointing on at least one level— the script was poorly written. As someone who used to watch The Simpsons religiously in the past, it just seemed disjointed and contrived. Sarcasm, snide retorts and brilliant takes on society’s dark sides are her trade mark, but this episode struggled.

Indeed it did.

03
Oct
14

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed10

“You know, at times like these, I used to turn to the Bible and find solace.  But, even the Good Book can’t help me now.” – Ned Flanders
“Why not?” – Homer Simpson
“I sold it to you for seven cents.” – Ned Flanders
“Oh.” – Homer Simpson

04
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed9

“Apple . . . apple . . . apple . . . c’mon, candy bar . . . hey, I know you!  You’re that first apple I didn’t want!” – Homer Simpson

25
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed8

“Don’t you think you should get a little fresh air, and maybe some exercise?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Bart Simpson

13
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed7

“Hello, Jerry, Homer Simpson.  Remember last month when I paid back that loan?  Well now I need you to do a favor for me.” – Homer Simpson

27
May
13

Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed6

“The Flanders are having a beef-a-thon, incredible Nedibles, Maudacious vittles.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hmm, I think it means he’s having a barbeque.” – Marge Simpson
“Well why didn’t he just say so?” – Homer Simpson

14
May
12

A Season Best and an All Time Worst

Chalkboard - Ned 'N Edna's Blend

“Like one out of every nine Americans, I’m left handed.  And, let me tell you, it ain’t all peaches and cream.  Your writing gets smeared, Lord help you if you want to drive a standard transmission.” – Ned Flanders

I have two good things to say about “Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend”.  First, we dodged the “storytelling episode” bullet.  When they were backstage at the beginning talking about why they didn’t do Lenny’s story, I thought for sure we were in for four short, equally dull segments, but it turned out that they went with the less annoying single, long dull story.  Second, this exchange from the Left Gifted Bi-Dexterous and Transhanded community scene was one of the best things they’ve done all season:

Flanders: We’re trying to decide on the theme for our Left Is Right parade.
Left Handed Woman:  Our Scissors, Ourselves!
Left Handed Man:  How ’bout Death to Righties.
Left Handed Woman:  We have to live among them.
Left Handed Man:  To live among them is to die!  Are you even left handed?

They over explained it and kept the scene going a bit too long, but that argument is a genuinely excellent parody.  Plus, “Fete Accompli” and “A Day to Pay Full Price” were well above average sign humor.  I don’t say this often, but, well done, Zombie Simpsons. 

Unfortunately, those brief moments were surrounded on all sides by the usual array of aggravating and careless problems.  Need a character in a scene? Have them walk right up and announce their presence (there’s Homer and Bart through the window, there’s Helen, Luann and Bernice in the wedding shop, there’s Bart and the window again).  Want to cram in a personal conversation or three?  Have characters argue and reconcile in public with a total disregard for where they’re supposed to be (Ned and Edna at the party, Homer and Marge in their kitchen, Ned and Edna again in front of the school).  Feel like explaining your jokes even as you make them?  Have each punchline carefully pre-chewed for ease of audience digestion (Flanders with the chip clips, the recitation of what goes on at the liberal college, pretty much everything Homer says about playing Jesus).  And, let’s not forget that the main story involved a lot of weird, out of character behavior and bizarre plot twists. 

Zombie Simpsons has a habit of ignoring the history and characteristics of people, but asking us to believe that Ned Flanders (widower) and Edna Krabappel (divorcee) are unaware that marriages aren’t perfect was bad even for them.  Flanders and Krabappel having problems with their relationship?  Fine.  Flanders and Krabappel not seeing eye to eye on Rod and Todd?  No problem.  Flanders being unaware that couples argue?  Wha?  And how on Earth did Krabappel pull the kids out of a school without Flanders knowing about it?  All to often these characters and their actions are barely recognizable as human. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and they are the worst ever.  Last night’s meandering pastiche of marital woe and wonder was ceremoniously endured by just four million people.  (TV by the Numbers has it exactly at a flat 4.00 million.)  That is far and away the lowest number of all time, displacing “The Daughter Also Rises” from earlier this season in the coveted #1 spot.  Eight of the ten least watched episodes are now from Season 23 (numbers are millions of viewers):

#1    23-21    4.00    Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend
#2    23-13    4.33    The Daughter Also Rises
#3    23-20    4.75    The Spy Who Learned Me
#4    23-18    4.86    Beware My Cheating Bart
#5    23-16    4.96    How I Wet Your Mother
#6    23-19    5.00    A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again
#6    22-18    5.00    The Great Simpsina
#8    23-10    5.11    Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson
#8    21-11    5.11    Million Dollar Maybe
#10  23-12    5.12    Moe Goes from Rags to Riches

Presumably Lady Gaga will give them a boost next week, but it would take a viewership of 26 million just to haul Season 23’s average viewership (currently 6.20 million) up to the level of Season 22, and that ain’t gonna happen. 




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